After A Hiatus…

It has been 22 days since I last blogged or even created a draft.

I wish there was a reason for this kind of a gap but there isn’t anything except for me being unable to gather my thoughts. And now that the thoughts are gathering, it’s akin to a storm brewing.

So I had a long-ish summer holiday with the offspring. We traveled a bit and had new experiences. Defining experiences for me as a parent. Am more confident of being able to chalk out holiday plans for the family without necessarily opting for safe options like a place with access to a pool or a beach. That’ll always be the fallback option but I am happy to say that slightly longer journeys, altitudes are no longer off the table.

On the personal front, I was sluggish to say the least. Didn’t get much done. Took a fraction of pictures that I’d normally have taken on earlier trips and pretty much retreated into the Kindle while still looking for something fun to give me a little impetus.

Speaking of the Kindle, it’s become an extension of my hand and I’m eyeballs deep into authors who primarily write about the Midwest and the Pacific Northwest. To say that their books include the wilderness and dense forests and more than average snowfall would be to undersell it. But their tones are quite similar because these geographical areas of United States are very diverse from the sunny parts of the South or the West Coast. They are also quite different in the tone and nature of the people who are depicted in the novels based in the East Coast.

It’s bucolic but the climate, the geography is as much a character in the novels as the actual people themselves. Maybe it’s the weather that calls to me (crazy I know) or my mild yearning for Seattle based on years of binging on Grey’s Anatomy but I’ve had the words Puget Sound and names of small counties of Washington State and Minnesota tumbling through my head.

I’ve also discovered that I need to learn how to scuba dive because taking pictures of the husband and offspring underwater gave me a sense of peace and joy unlike anything in the last few years.

As basic the images were and while nowhere in the neighborhood of work such as this gent, it was still a lovely experience nonetheless and made me want to explore it further. In fact my list of places of hit (eventually) already includes this. Of course if we end up doing this, my main concern will be the offspring wanting to move undersea permanently or not coming back up till he spots all his favorite behemoths.

All said and done, long summer or not, it’s been an experience. Of growth, some backslides and lot of plans for the months ahead. Not a total washout in my book.

 

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Right As Rain!

I’ll be the first one to admit-my kid is a bit of a digital media junkie. He’s a tater tot who’ll transition into a full-blown couch potato unless Red and I nip it the bud!

When we travel, he like most brats..erm adorable children of his ilk, prefer to bury their noses in an iPad or a phone rather than look outside and see the landscape zip by.

Although blaming this generation isn’t fair by half….when I was his age if I didn’t look out the window or sleep, I’d go stir crazy and 3-4 hour car journeys were the norm rather than the exception. On train journeys, it was climbing up and down from the berths till my mom put a stop to it or I conked off. And it was a damn fine way to travel!

The offspring has been on planes since he was 4 months old so any journey that doesn’t get over in 4 hours max is like a life sentence to him. And even in flights he’ll usurp the window seat and *still* have the iPad on, playing his neverending dino games. God have mercy.

Today Red and I kibboshed his unending whines about watching something he wanted (his grandfather is currently alternating between the French Open and the Champion’s Cup) and wonder of wonders and miracle of miracles, Boy Whiner wanted to go and ride his bike in the rain. And not the blink and you miss it rains mind you. The halfway decent ones.

I saw him zigzagging from my window while Red walked behind him and he just came back thoroughly drenched, hair in spikes but damn! I really love that kid right about now!!

Life is made of little moments like this which make you feel that the little tater’s going to end up just fine.

So let it be written.So let it be done.” quoth Rameses.

All My Pretty Possessions

I love my stuff. I love getting new things. I like discovering how they work, am ecstatic when they work the way they’re supposed to and most of all I love how it makes me feel when I use them.

My all time favorites have been books and cameras…of course I keep buying knickknacks that I don’t actually need either but we’ll tackle that in a different blog post.

Red, bless his patience and general I don’t-really-care-what-you-buy-as-long-as-I-don’t-have-to-be-responsible-for-itness, bought me an action camera- a GoProHe’s rather indifferent about photography and prefers not to have to pose or scan through 200 pictures but appreciates a “pretty picture” and generally images of MLM in all his joyous glory aka whopping it up like a monkey or the occasion smiles.

Given that our travels, spare time and overall recreation seldom is a still activity, I’d been hankering for something that gave me the tools to capturing a child in motion and images where getting wet was the norm rather than the exception and GoPro was the answer.

And with the particular one I have, it’s easy enough to tote it around in your pocket and not have to deal with lens changes, filters yada yada yada!

And it’s been a JOY to use this. Very few things make me as happy as something working the way it’s supposed to work, without quirks and too much thought going into figuring things out.

I’ve just started capturing some trial shots of the offspring and other friends in the pool and with a holiday just around the corner, I should be able to do justice to some images in the sea as well.

*picture a chubby woman skipping and clapping her chubby hands in utter glee*

This is a feeling nearly incomparable and I’ve also been heard telling the offspring to handle the camera with care because I like it more than I liked him!

Happy happy days!

P.S: Images from the pool session are uploaded in my photoblog…here.

P.P.S: technology amazes me to no end!

Have Teeth, Will Eat

It’s no secret am a foodie. It’s also no secret Red thinks I can and do eat pretty much everything under the sun.

We go to the gym on different days and whoever is home makes the protein shake for the other individual to save time etc. Now Red gets creative every now and then and comes up with secret ingredients which I have to guess at. His concoctions usually turn out palatable but the way in which they are presented to me especially, is anything but!

Before we proceed further a little backstory is required. See I eat limes and lemons down to the rind. Occasionally chew on the rind as well. More so if I’ve done some tequila shots as well but for the most part, I strip the lemon bare and it’s mostly cringe-worthy for people sitting around me. They end up puckering their faces while I suck on the lemon so often there’s a bunch of people making kissy faces at me (as it may look to an outsider); while I sit blissfully unaware of anything of the sort!

Anyhoo, apart from the bizarre lemon eating (their words not mine) I also occasionally eat the watermelon seeds instead of spitting them out. So in the last 10 years I’ve become either goatish or bovine in Red’s estimation.

Jog back to circa 2017 and present day. Red kept my protein shake ready and it was slightly tangy and quite nice when suddenly I munched on something I thought was a shrivelled up goji berry and this bitter flavor spread in my mouth. I fished out a half chewed up orange seed and Red, feigning complete innocence, asks me, “You eat seeds, don’t you?”.

If I only had a grapefruit handy to lob at his face at that moment…

Apparently you eat one tiny watermelon seed once and you’re tagged as a garbage disposal forever!

Sighhh.

 

The Day Of Lurve

I didn’t know about Valentine’s Day till I was in elementary school in the US. It didn’t mean much once I came back to India. Well it still doesn’t mean much because I’ve only celebrated it about a handful times in my adult life.

The husband isn’t the roses (red or otherwise)and candy kinda guy. He does his bit on a daily basis and then some. Anyone who makes me a cup of coffee every morning is aces in my book. Even if he then leaves wet towels on my side of the bed without fail. EVERY DAY.

So over the years these are some of the more interesting V-Days I’ve experienced:

  • Circa early 2000s- a long-stemmed red rose on the eve of V-Day followed by a movie with 2 other couples and a nice, long bike ride to nowhere in particular.
  • Circa early 2000s (again)- a bouquet of flowers which smelt STRONGLY of Charlie because the flower vendor thought the natural smell of the flowers wasn’t powerful enough for such a special day. I spent half an hour sneezing and then tearing the petals off and scattering them all along the road while heading out for a movie with a special someone.The special someone grumbled on the entire ride at the stupidity of the flower guy and it made for a funny anecdote later on.
  • Circa  early 2000s (boy! I haven’t lived since the early 2000s, have I?)- my BFF and I doing a nice girls night out and landing up in the auto of a creepy, fanatical Hindutva- spouting, pink-heart-hating maniac who grumbled and ranted the entire time we were in the auto. Needless to say, we stopped the meter earlier than expected!
  • Circa early 2000s- another girls’ night out with BFF and another friend, recently single; dinner and lots of laughs over Chinese food and some pretty lousy tipping on our side.

Since then 14th February has been a date in the calendar and nowhere else. But that’s fine because if given a choice I wouldn’t know where to go and what to do. Red&I normally factor in a date night when my folks visit or when we want to watch a movie badly enough to park MLM on a good friend’s couch with his faithful iPad for a few hours.

But it’s also nice to look back on those days when the day meant something ‘more’ than the usual routine was in the offing and that it included a dinner, a movie, a well-groomed guy and definitely some marked attention from aforementioned guy; for a few hours.

Oh to be young and single again!

Naaah…

Image courtesy- voices.washingtonpost.com

 

Snake, Rattle&Roll

By now everyone would have realized that I pun and desperately so. It’s almost my calling card in my blog posts. Titles especially.

So to jump to the topic, my kid is into Nature. Likes some parts of it even more and absolutely j’adores bits of it. And those bits are far-flung, disjointed and only he knows why certain things send him into raptures.

Our old printer was on its last legs, cartridge, carriage…you get the gist; so another one came and took its place. And Red being Mr.Technologically-Advanced wanted a wireless printer. So we got one. 

So now the situation is like this- MLM will pick up my phone after switching on the printer and making sure there are REAMS of paper in it, and simply command me-GIVE ME A PRINT OUT.
And his litany will begin-

  • Secretary Bird (no short necks only long-necked ones)
  • Gila Monster.
  • Komodo Dragon
  • King Cobra (proper one not cartoonish, cutesy snakes)
  • Alligators AND Crocodiles- because yeah, like he knows the difference between the two.
  • Leatherback turtle
  • Vampire Squid
  • Armadillos

And the list goes on. And as each page rolls out his eyes turn bright and he rubs his hands in glee and hisses in my ear, “Give me birdsss of prey Ayuuu.” I swear it’s like having your own personal Smeagol leering at its Precious! 

For those who glossed over that reference-watch LOTR ok? You can’t miss out on Smeagol and his Precioussss. Half the memes on the internet have to do with those two.

So after condors, peregrine falcons and vultures flew out of the printer and we called it a day, the hissing ceased and Gollum..I mean MLM went his merry way with his printouts.

A new day. A new pet peeve for me. Life is just full of opportunities!

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

Image courtesy- www.wannasmile.com

My life with MLM of late as been like this-

Me@6:15 am: Get up baby, it’s time for school. (Gives loads of kisses and tousles the porcupine hair, sticking up everywhere because of static)

MLM: answering by snores.

Me (shaking him gently): get up (followed up all sorts of oddly named endearments).

MLM: IdonwannaIissleepyIwant…..trailing off into soft snores.

Me (looking at clock): It’s 6:30 already!! GET UP!

MLM: Idontwantittobe6:30…..

Me (tickling him): Getupgetupgetup!

MLM: FINE!!! and droops over my lap/shoulder/ any place where he can drape his body comfortably.

Me: UP! RIGHT NOW!!

MLM:whyareyoumeantomeyou’renotagoodgirlIdon’twanttobeyourfriendanymoregoawayAyu!!

Me: FINE! Stay that way! (tacking on whatever threat is the most effective at the moment).

MLM: Drags himself out of bed a la The Walking Dead and goes and plops himself onto the couch.

Me: AREYOUKIDDINGME?!! GETUPNOW!!

Red: (stumbling out of bed and frowning) Why are you yelling? (directed at me). Go have your coffee and I’ll handle this.(prepares to be the good cop)

2 minutes later

Red (to me): Go and get him to drink his milk, he’s not listening (absent mindedly goes off to brush his teeth while scratching his left bum cheek. Always the left. Don’t ask me why.)

Me (fully caffeinated and back on the job): COMEON! LET’S GO! WE’RE LATE!

MLM: Idontwantogotoschool!! Iwanttocolor! Iwanttoreadmybook! Idontwanttobathe! BadgirlAyu! I’mnevergoingtobeyourfriend. NEVERNEVERNEVER!!

Ah the joys of parenting and predictability of a sleepy child’s behavior on a winter morning. AND…I get to do this all over again. Tomorrow. And the next day. And the next.

Bliss.